Good Application Design begins with an open discussion about your organization’s data management challenges. This is not to assume that there is any major problem, but to recognize that there has to be a better way – either to improve a less-than-perfect process or to collect and manage data that helps your staff manage and rectify a rough area of the operation.
The method for designing the right application has a few basic steps that should be applied whether the solution sought is large or small. It would stink to end up with the wrong solution. The steps are
- Discussing challenges and identified problems
- Discussing prior efforts
- Discussing data / information flow – including existing data and missing data
- Discuss ideas for improvements to the process and data collected / managed
- Discuss the type of interface that best fits the operating environment and the skill level of the users
- Outline the data elements that make up the data set
- Notate the relationships between the data elements
- Identify subject matter experts who can help follow in voids in the steps above
From this process, we can develop a good idea of a solution that works within the current process, improves the process where it can, records and returns the information that defines the area of concern and functions in a fashion in line with what the typical user would expect to see.
Good input results in good output. Quality information in the early stages of development will result in a great solution for your team.